Drummond Woodsum Represents Maine Champion Poet Who Can’t Compete Nationally Because of His Immigration Status

Deering High School student, Allan Monga, successfully competed and won in Maine’s Poetry Out Loud contest.  However, because he has not yet achieved the status of permanent resident,  the National Endowments for the Arts is preventing him from moving on to the national competition for Poetry Out Loud.  The Poetry Out Loud contest rules say only citizens and permanent legal immigrants can participate. Monga has received a work authorization card and a Social Security number but not a green card.

Drummond Woodsum attorneys Melissa Hewey, Bruce Smith,  Kaighn Smith, and Jeana McCormick have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Monga and the Portland Public Schools seeking an injunction requiring the NEA to let him participate in the national competition April 23 – 25 in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit claims that by not letting Monga compete, the NEA is violating his right to equal protection guaranteed by the  United States Constitution.

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